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Jim, Jeanie Buss Front Office Disconnect Could Create Laker Problems Reviewed by Momizat on . There seems to be a rift in the Lakers. A developing chasm. After one of the more tumultuous seasons in recent history, the team is on the verge of total change There seems to be a rift in the Lakers. A developing chasm. After one of the more tumultuous seasons in recent history, the team is on the verge of total change Rating:
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Jim, Jeanie Buss Front Office Disconnect Could Create Laker Problems

jimjeanieThere seems to be a rift in the Lakers. A developing chasm. After one of the more tumultuous seasons in recent history, the team is on the verge of total change, and finds itself suddenly facing the prospects of an uncertain future.

Much of the uncertainty surrounding the current team is due to the front office. Fair or not, there is an enormous shadow of doubt hovering over the upstairs executives, as fans continue to wonder whether or not the Lakers are still in good hands.

In the past it was simple. Since 1979 the answer was always yes. With Jerry Buss at the helm things were always controlled. Calculated. And even though Jim (his son) and Jeanie (his daughter) haven’t done anything that would indicate the team is in serious trouble, that hasn’t stopped speculation from all sides as to just how big of an issue Dr. Buss’ departure will be for this team.

When Dr. Buss passed away last February, he had a system in place to help keep the Lakers in control. Like any great businessman, and he was one of the best, he was fully prepared. He didn’t want any side to have too much power in the struggle for Laker supremacy, so the checks and balances he created would act as a constricting set of guidelines to keep the team from being monopolized – either by Jim or Jeanie.

Now, I’m not hinting that either of Dr. Buss’ two children (he actually has six but for the sake of the story just go with me here) would try and muscle out the other. Even a friendly sibling rivalry, which is what this seems to be, has spats and disagreements. And, even if two people are related, when one believes they are right and the other is convinced that they’re not, well that can cause some problems. Another large factor can be the personalities of each, as often times the dominant personality, the more outgoing and brash, will be able to overtake the quieter, more meek individual. Conflict avoidance can be sensed from miles away, and like sharks seeking blood, the mentally aggressive immediately sense their advantage.

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Back to the point – when Dr. Buss passed away he split the Lakers up, giving control of the business side of the franchise to Jeanie, while basketball operations went to Jim. One of the reasons for this decision, allegedly, was to prevent Jeanie (and partner Phil Jackson) from gaining too much control on the basketball end. And it worked. When the team needed a head coach at the beginning of this last season, it was Jim (with help from Jerry) that selected Mike D’Antoni over Jeanie’s beau, Jackson. This decision was met with venom from most fans, who demand a highly successful resume from anybody that expects to take over their beloved Lakers, but it was clearly not Jeanie’s choice either.PhilJackson3

“I was not happy with how things happened,” Jeanie admitted at a Time Warner Media event Wednesday night in Los Angeles. “I was disappointed, but I’m biased. I don’t think anybody would judge me to say [Phil] is the best coach in the entire world. That’s my prerogative to feel that way. They had their reasons for doing what they did, but I kind of have that what-if feeling. What if he had coached?”

While Jeanie is certainly entitled to her opinion, it could be the beginning of something far more severe for the Lakers. While to this point she’s remained professional and hasn’t publicly stepped on Jim’s toes or dismissed the job he’s done with the team, if they can’t get on the same page the team could be in heaps of trouble. Even though both are in charge of different aspects of the organization, a disconnect between them spells only trouble for the Lakers, even if it’s not this season or next, but years down the line. The main reason for the Lakers success during their time in Los Angeles has been a consistent, steady front office that trusted itself and the people hired to make it work. While I’m not suggesting that this is no longer the case, the obvious disconnect between the two is a tad alarming.

Next Page: How Phil Jackson Can Help/Hurt This Relationship

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About The Author

Daniel is the former Editor-in-Chief of LakersNation. He has also written for SLAM, ESPN and other various publications. Follow Daniel on Twitter @danielbuergeLA

Number of Entries : 1606
  • Something’s Not Present

    Does Jim Buss have a woman? If he does, she must be the worse lay he’s ever had. Plainly, every one knows Phil Jackson is the Lakers’ and the city of Los angeles champion coach. Though Jeanie is his personal supporting-cast cheerleader (which is not a bad thing), Jim seems to be putting an egotistical, male-chauvinist authority presence that is now making him look like the guy who will be the only reason why the Lakers future will also become a big disappointment to the fans. Jim needs to fire the guy giving him the negative advice and get a woman who can provide a life-changing fulfillment.

    • Daryl Peek

      When are people gonna stop the Jimmy bashing and realize it was Jerry Buss who had a problem with Phil? Jerry Buss fired Phil in 04. Jerry wanted to fire Phil in 08 after the finals loss to the Celtics. Phil ran off Jerry West the best consultant/GM in NBA history. Jerry Buss didn’t want Phil in the family/FO. Wake up people

      • Daniel Buerge

        Mentioned that in the article, Daryl. Jim is the scapegoat, and it’s unfair, but whether or not he and Jeanie can get on the same page can still be a problem.

        • Daryl Peek

          I agree only because most of these younger Lakers fans don’t have memories of how turbulent things were at times between Jerry Buss and Jerry West. West and Dr. Buss would bump heads all the time but they had a genuine mutual respect for each other that fit perfectly given their vastly different personalities.

          Phil being the middle man is what worries me most as a Lakers fan. Phil has too much of an ego coupled with a history of not getting along with any of his superiors. Phil even had words in his speech at the Dr. Buss memorial service that pointed to the disconnect between the two. Phil can be very insensitive when it comes to dealing with those close by that challenge his ego. Phil did Tex Winter dirty towards the end of their time together in LA. Tex was the one who taught Phil the triangle.
          Phil always had issues with Jerry Rinesdorf in Chicago also. If it weren’t for Rinesdorf getting Phil together with Tex, Phil would still be coaching HS B-ball somewhere.

          Phil is the greatest motivator as a HC, and is unbelievable at selling the triangle system but I’m just weary of his Zen mind tricks in a FO capacity.

  • NotAManHater

    Wow feminist. I was just going to say “Do anything you can to hire back ‘The Logo ‘ “.

  • Carolyn Carlin

    We need to let Jeannie run the Lakers operation. Jim needs to go fishing! If Phil does not want to coach again, then bring in someone who has trained under him, like Brian Shaw.

  • 3339

    well, since they aren’t man enough to admit they messed up now, I hope Jim and Mitch are man enough to admit a mistake with dantoni when this next season is already lost. 2 bad we are going to waste another season. sucks

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